By James A. Washington
Publisher, Dallas Weekly Newspaper
As believers we really have a lot on our plates. From our perspective however, that doesn’t mean we are challenged beyond our capacity to fulfill God’s destiny for us. It just means life still happens to us. It just does so with a purpose; God’s. The more we understand and internalize that, the more we see and appreciate the individual blessings in our lives. What I’d like to call your attention to now is a statement of fact from Jesus’ mouth to your reality. I’m still hanging out in dealing with that forgiveness thing. This time it’s not forgiving yourself that I’m talking about. It’s God’s forgiveness and grace about the sins we commit.
Nowhere in the bible can I find an expectation by God that you won’t sin after you are saved. To the contrary, the expectation is that you will. God’s grace and Jesus’ blood have taken care of that for you and me. We just need to keep the appropriate perspective regarding sin and through prayer let God know your confession is genuine. The point I want to bring to your attention is when Jesus says your forgiveness is not happening. Luke 17:1 says “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.” This one here stunned me and I thought I’d pass it along to you. ‘…but woe to that person through whom they come.” This kind of redefines friendship and fellowship don’t you think?
This statement does not remove anything from the sinner, but it does put a huge burden on the one who brings the sin and convinces his Christian family member to partake. The consequences of this act appear to be catastrophic. You guys know I believe for anyone to actually hurt you, they, he or she, has to be close enough to you to kiss you. Can you say Judas? My point is you cannot plead ignorance on this one. God will not let you. Woe is waiting. The verse continues to illustrate how you should respond to one who sins against you. Yep. You still gotta forgive. The verse is also very clear as to your role in the family of Christ. Don’t bring sin to the party and try and convince others it’s okay to partake. Eve did that and we all know how that turned out.
So remember this. You are forgiven and you are to forgive. I don’t believe I follow a God of confusion. This is pretty simple. But let’s not get it twisted. This is a trap as in entrapment. Don’t fall for it. Don’t ask your friends to wallow in your ‘oh woe is me.’ That’s an indication of lack of faith or, lack of belief that Christ did indeed fulfill scripture. When you feel this happening to you, remember the fight is fixed and you win. The alternative is Jesus’ ‘oh woe is you.’ As always it’s still your choice. It always has been. May God bless and keep you always.